• Ali Hall

Finding Balance Throughout the Holidays

I cannot believe it, but somehow, it’s already mid-November which means the holiday season is right around the corner!

The holidays can be such a wonderful time filled with loved ones, joy, and giving… but why is it that more often than not, the quickly approaching holidays bring about stress. Stress about family coming to town, and everything needing to be “perfect.” Stress about the lists of gifts and things to do that need to be checked off. Stress about what you are going to eat (or should I say not eat) to avoid gaining weight. Stress about the New Year being around the corner and feeling like you haven’t yet accomplished any of the things you wanted to… and the list goes on. Often, we come out on the other side of the holiday season feeling drained, exhausted, and ready to move on already. 

But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if we could find little ways to find balance and bring the joy and light back to the holiday season? Here are four of my tips to maintaining balance throughout the holidays.

For one, stop trying to make everything perfect… you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, do your best and trust that your loved ones are there to spend quality time with each other and they don’t care if the house looks perfect. I know I know, family can be hard to please sometimes, but I think you’ll find that if everyone can stop trying to make everything appear perfect and focus on spending quality, fun time together, that things will be a whole lot more enjoyable for all. And the cool thing is… you can help set that tone!

Second, remember that you cannot continue to give if your cup is empty. Take some time between shopping, cooking, cleaning, and stressing to do something for yourself. Take the kids or some friends on a fun outing one day and forget about the to-do lists. Go get a massage. Take a walk on a pretty day. Keep up with your usual exercise routine to the best of your ability. Do things that are for you and only you. This way, you can keep your cup full and be there for your family and friends the way you want to be. And remember, IT’S NOT ALL ON YOU.

Third, EAT THE DAMN COOKIE! I cannot for the life of me understand why the fitness industry shames people, women in particular, for eating around the holidays. Holiday food is food that we usually only eat once or twice a year, and generally has some sentimental value to it. It reminds us of past holidays, our childhood, and even loved ones who are no longer with us. Don’t let counting calories ruin that joy and sentiment for you. Instead, practice intuitive eating. Take your time and savor each and every bite. Eat what you want when you want it but listen to your body and stop when you are full. Remember that there will always be leftovers tomorrow if you don’t get a bite of everything in one sitting. But please, do not take the joy out of your holidays by stressing about what you eat. Listen to your body, find balanced, healthy options when you can, and ENJOY!

Fourth, instead of worrying about what you haven’t done, give yourself GRACE, and celebrate all that you HAVE accomplished over the past year, because I guarantee that you’ve done more than you realize. Find joy in the now, be present, and be thankful for all the past year has brought you… the good, the bad, and the ugly…. because all of those things have led you to where you are now, which is EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

Let’s try to find a little balance and bring the joy back to this holiday season!

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